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  • Writer's pictureMaría Palomares Tarí


Have you ever stopped to think that translation is literally everywhere? From bilingual ATM screens and processed-food labels, to the books we own at home or the guarantee slip from the watch we’ve just bought, translation is part of our daily life without even notice.

Away from the spotlight, professional translators work to bring incredible value to societies, businesses, and industries. They facilitate clear and efficient communication between languages and cultures in this globalized demanding world we live in.

Today, 30 September, it’s International Translation Day and it’s the perfect opportunity to pay tribute to their invaluable work.

Why 30 September ?

This day celebrates the feast of St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators. He was the first person to translate the Bible into Latin from the original Hebrew, making it accessible for the first time to a far wider audience. The celebrations have been promoted by International Federation of Translators (FIT) ever since it was set up in 1953.

In 2017, UN General Assembly Resolution (A/RES/71/288) recognized “the role of professional translation in connecting nations, and fostering peace, understanding and development” and declared 30 September to be UN International Translation Day.

What is it that translators really do for us?

Translation is still being carried out silently and assiduously every single day, often without thanks or recognition. It is often said that “translation is that which transforms everything so that nothing changes” and that is exactly what these professionals do for us in almost every sphere of life and work: they adapt to new realities and expectations in order to bring high quality and accurate results. Our daily lives are intertwined with translation whether we are aware of it or not. It basically allows nations to interact, businesses to thrive overseas and the world to connect!

Why translators’ role has been crucial in 2020?

Translators, interpreters and terminologists’ work is always essential to overcome language barriers. In crisis situations, they stand on the front line and behind the news to ensure clear information reaches everyone, and hence why this year’s theme is “Finding the words for a world in crisis”. During this global pandemic, the use of professional medical translators is helping to reduce the loss of lives ensuring healthcare-related communications and guaranteeing a more rapid and coordinated global response. In fact, in the U.S, interpreters and translators are the COVID-19-related occupations which have increased the most during this global crisis.

Therefore, this celebration draws attention to both interpreters and translators and to the outstanding value of their work. They are at the junction point that impacts the development of almost every area of our life, and this day helps to highlight the importance of respecting and valuing their effort and the significance of their labor.

So Happy International Translation Day to all of you! And especially to those language professionals who have given us so much and continue to do so despite the difficulties we are facing today. Thank you!


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